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Security Industry Authority Criminality

The SIA (Security Industry Authority) governs the issuing of licences against relevant qualifications and subject criminality and other compliance checks.


The Security Industry in the UK has historically been unregulated both financially but also regarding suitability of individuals controlling the access and egress of people at bars, clubs, events, hospitals, hotel etc.


Therefore on paper I fundamentally agree with the introduction of such a body, which overseas and regulates an industry that may attract criminality and opportunism.

Having worked in the Security Industry for a number of years, I have encountered an alarming trend


Their completely inconsistent approaches to criminality.

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Comparing these two cases both legally and ethically I can find no level of continuity or consistency in the way they treat cases of criminality.



Case 1:


Person X is convicted of Rape of a minor in 1999. Person X is sentenced to 4 years in prison. Person X completes 2 years of sentence and is released on licence and added to sex offenders register for 15 years.

10 years later Person X applies for a Security Licence, it is granted immediately with no appeal required.


Case 2:


Person Z is working on duty at a bar, he is asked to remove a man, the man is known for violence, the man threatens Person Z and alters his stance. Person Z pushes the man away. The man falls to the ground banging his head, suffering a bleed on the brain. Person Z is arrested for GBH. Person Z has his licence suspended and is unable to work pending the case outcome. Person Z is found not guilty and the SIA fail to reactivate the licence until they have gathered further information.



Case 1:


Person X was found guilty of the offence.

Person X committed the offence with intent.

Person X was given a custodial sentence.

Person X applied for an SIA Licence 12 years after the offence and is granted a licence immediately, no appeal required.


Case 2:


Person Z found not guilty.

Person Z acted reasonably.

Person Z did not intend the injurious outcome

Person Z unable to work for 18months.



Where is the consistency?


Which individual poses more risk to the public? Which individual would you prefer to work alongside and which individual is more likely to uphold honesty and integrity and industry values?


The SIA Mission Statement is:


“Delivering proportionate regulation to the private security industry to reduce criminality and improve standards under the Private Security Industry Act 2001.”


SIA Vision & Objective is:


“Protecting the public - ensuring that only fit and proper people and organisations deliver regulated private security services”




Why, once a court has found an individual to be innocent of wrongdoing; does the SIA still suspend said individuals licence? Thusly removing their ability to work in sometimes the only role they are qualified for?


The Secondary Impact


Why does this approach affect the Security Industry? Because it instills a lack of confidence in the system, it creates hesitance through fear of losing ones licence. This affects the way a team works and can potentially have a very detrimental affect on their and their customers/clients safety.


There have been many situations where a licenced member of security staff has failed to assist a colleague who is being assaulted by a number of individuals and when challenged have said “I didn’t want to lose my licence” or “I tried to use the SIA techniques as that is all I’m permitted to do”

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